Sometimes you have a dream. It might be years in the making. It rattles around in your head. You get a piece of it here, a scrap of it there. You wake up in the middle of the night, grab a pen and start scribbling away in your journal, then revisit it the next time you wake in the middle of the night and you jot down a few more thoughts. Or maybe you don’t. It all depends on what kind of dreamer you are.
Many folks are dreamers–turned-visionaries. They plot and piddle, climb and fall, run and dodge until that one perfect dream comes true. They never stop, they fail a lot, but they never, ever, ever give up or give into the notion that the dream won’t come about. They, like Edison, just keep adjusting the experiment until the light finally comes on and everyone around them sees the brightness they envisioned all along.
Other folks are dreamers that stay in the dreamlike state. They float, they fault anyone and everyone but themselves when they can’t (or won’t) accomplish or push their dream out of the nest in their own brain. They are happy and content to stay in the fog of planning rather than do the hard work of the actual completion of their dream. Ecclesiastes says “A dream comes to pass with much business and painful effort.” Maybe that last part…the pain part…is what scares most of us off.
The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is simple. Dreamers are afraid to hurt a little to get what they want. Visionaries know the reality in the old adage “ No pain, no gain.” Dreamers have great and monumental thoughts, but visionaries execute great and memorable actions. Dreamers are well thought of and admired for their thoughts, but visionaries are often misunderstood and accused of controlling assertiveness when they are in pursuit of their goals. Dreamers think about the work it will take to have “something”, but visionaries? They actually execute the work to attain that same “something”. Dreamers do a lot of thinking and planning, but never put feet to their actions. Visionaries are born in running shoes. And when faced with a roadblock, a set back, or a difficulty, the visionary just adjusts, evaluates and continues to walk the dream on out.
In this world, we need both dreamers and visionaries, but they do have to embrace the value in each others’ contributions. Are you a dreamer without a vision? Or are you a visionary without a dream? Neither situation is a very good place to be…